The Novrosk Peninsula: the Soviet naval base has been abandoned, the nuclear submarines are rusting and rotting. Cold, isolated, forgotten. Until the Russian Special Forces arrive and discover that the Doctor and his companions are here too. But there is something else in Novrosk. Something that predates everything else, even the stone circle on the cliff top. Something that is at last waking, hunting, killing. Can the Doctor and his friends stay alive long enough to learn the truth?
Rose and Captain Jack Harkness.
Pg 16 On top of a cliff in a stone circle, the Norvosk Peninsula, Russia, 21st century (pg 11).
Pg 20 "Psychic paper - it would show the person looking at it whatever the Doctor wanted them to see." Seen regularly in the new series, starting in The End of the World.
Pg 44 "I can tell you why there are no biros [...] The ink freezes in the winter." This was mentioned in Time Zero.
Pg 47 "You hear English from them, they hear Russian from you" The TARDIS ability is explained, although mysteriously Rose's questioning of it yet again fails to alert the Doctor to the possibility that she might have been hypnotised by followers of the Mandragora Helix.
Pg 65 Reference to Jackie (Rose, Aliens of London, etc).
Pg 135 "'Trip of a lifetime,' Rose muttered." This was the new series tagline when it returned.
Pg 162 "It's him I fear. The bad wolf." Reference to the continuing thread throughout the first series.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Valeria, Fedor Vahlen, Mamentov, Oleg Levin, Catherine, Krylek.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Pg 134 The Remotes, glowing blobby creatures that resemble jellyfish. They feel soft and springy, like jelly (pg 90).
Pg 11 The Novrosk Peninsula, Russia, the 21st century.
Pg 14 A helicopter over Irkutsk.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
A dragging menace that animates the dead, soldiers running about on a Russian base, secret experiments, people possessed... Justin Richards must have his notes written on cards that he simply shuffles and re-deals for each new book. This one he could have written in his sleep. Fortunately, although it's a bit of a cliche, it also mostly delivers the goods. The wintry setting is very atmospheric, the base under seige does exactly what you'd imagine and there's even some decent banter between the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack. As potboilers go, it's perfectly acceptable. Too bad it's the ninth Doctor's last hurrah, though, as he deserved something exceptional.